By guest author Majed Ashy
It is important to understand the differences between revolutions occurring today and revolutions of the past.
In the past, limited technology and communication allowed for revolutions to be more local and their international effects to take time. In addition, it was easier to hide the bloodshed associated with some revolutions–or even not to record at all in history.
Today, the Internet and other advances in communication and technologies allow for instant recording and broadcasting, and in some circumstances, the biased presentations of events in order to inform or influence public opinion. Such developments transformed the international community into an interconnected one with events in one country having quick consequences in others.
This situation creates a delicate balance of power. Any rapid changes–positive or negative–in one country can change this balance and in turn require the involvement of other regional and international forces to slow or affect such developments. Thus, revolutions are not only shifts in the internal balance of power but also in the regional and global ones.
In the Middle East today, there are mainly two forces in conflict: one that believes in mixing Islam with politics (internal and international), and one that believes in the separation of Islam from politics (some call it the enlightenment era).
In Part 4 of this series, we will explore these two forces.
Dr. Majed Ashy is an assistant professor of psychology at Merrimack College and a research fellow in psychiatry at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.